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IAVA Daily News Brief – October 25, 2017

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Today’s Top Stories

Female veterans have a 250% higher risk than civilian women for suicide, according to VA data, and women who do not use VA services have seen a 98% increase in rates. For two female veterans who work with data for a living, the realization of how close we became to becoming part of this dataset is sobering. | Task and Purpose >>

“We don’t believe there should be strict mileage criteria or wait time criteria,” Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin told members of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee on Tuesday. “These are going to be individual clinical decisions based on feasibility and access.” | Military Times >>

Instead, Shulkin’s plan leaves the decision to veterans and their VA doctors. He presented his plan to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and described it as a simplification of the current Choice program, which has been widely criticized as complex and bureaucratic. It’s titled the Veterans Coordinated Access & Rewarding Experiences Act, or CARE. | Stars and Stripes >>

Iraq and Afghanistan

The Iraqi government has transformed the balance of power in the north of the country since launching a campaign last week to seize back territory from the Kurds, who govern an autonomous region of three northern provinces and had also seized a swathe of other territory in northern Iraq. | CNBC >>

The digital clock shows “Zulu” time (the military term for GMT), local time and Eastern Time. But in the Afghan government’s photo, there is no clock or alarm, with one expert telling the Times there was “no question” it had been manipulated. Neither side has explained the discrepancy. | BBC News >>

Back in Washington, D.C., Democrats and Republicans use Iraq as a political football. Democrats blame Republicans for the 2003 decision to invade Iraq (despite having joined in its authorization) and most Republicans blame the Democrats for President Barack Obama’s 2011 withdrawal from Iraq (even though it was President George W. Bush who committed to withdraw). | The Washington Examiner >>

Military Affairs 

“When we’re conducting these kinds of operations, which we call ‘train, advise and assist,’ we don’t in the normal course of events accompany those local partnered forces when contact with the enemy is expected,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford told reporters at a televised briefing at the Pentagon on Monday about the incident in Niger. | Military Times >>

“For many years the story of Mike’s heroism has gone untold, but today we gather to tell the world of his valor and proudly present him with our nation’s highest military honor,” Trump told an audience, which included nine surviving Medal of Honor recipients. | Military.com >>

“We’ve tested the heck out of these,” PEO Soldier’s Brig. Gen. Brian P. Cummings said in the Army release, noting that because the new uniform “is based on an existing uniform that has already been extensively tested, getting this light-weight uniform to the field will take less time.” | Task and Purpose >>

#VetsRising

“When we’re conducting these kinds of operations, which we call ‘train, advise and assist,’ we don’t in the normal course of events accompany those local partnered forces when contact with the enemy is expected,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford told reporters at a televised briefing at the Pentagon on Monday about the incident in Niger. | Military Times >>

“For many years the story of Mike’s heroism has gone untold, but today we gather to tell the world of his valor and proudly present him with our nation’s highest military honor,” Trump told an audience, which included nine surviving Medal of Honor recipients. | Military.com >>

“We’ve tested the heck out of these,” PEO Soldier’s Brig. Gen. Brian P. Cummings said in the Army release, noting that because the new uniform “is based on an existing uniform that has already been extensively tested, getting this light-weight uniform to the field will take less time.” | Task and Purpose >>

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